Rocky Mountain Horse breed information
Rocky Mountain Horse horse general information
COLORRocky Mountain Horse is best-known for its characteristic coloration: chocolate-brown body color and flaxen mane and tail, an expression of the uncommon silver dapple gene. But Rocky Mountain Horses can be any solid coat color. Facial markings are acceptable so long as they are not excessive. There may not be any white above the knee or hock.
SIZERocky Mountain Horse must stand between 14.2 and 16 hands high.
WEIGHTRocky Mountain Horses usually weigh 850 – 1000lbs (385 - 450kg).
LIFE EXPECTANCYMountain horses are known for their long life span.
TEMPRERAMENTRocky Mountain Horse is a horse breed of a gentle temperament.
Rocky Mountain Horse description
The breed is best known for gentleness. It is an easy keeper and a wonderful riding horse with a strong heart and endurance. Many of the horses are descendants of Tobe, a stallion owned by Sam Tuttle who stated that he bred for the smooth four beat saddle gait, the excellent disposition, and its versatility.
The horse must have a wide chest sloping 45 degrees on the shoulder, and have bold eyes and well-shaped ears.
The horse must have a natural ambling, four-beat gait (single foot or rack), with no evidence of pacing. When the horse moves you can count four distinct hoof beats, which produce a cadence of equal rhythm just like a walk: left hind, left fore, right hind, right fore. Each individual horse has its own speed and natural way of moving, traveling at 7 to 20 miles per hour. This naturally occurring gait is present from birth and does not require training aids or action devices.
Rocky Mountain Horse history
The history of the Rocky Mountain Horse dates back to around 1890 when a gaited chocolate stud colt from the Rocky Mountain region of the United States was brought to the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains of Eastern Kentucky. He was extensively bred to the local saddle mares and his offspring were the local people's choice for versatility, smooth gait, sure-footedness, sensibility, and calm temperaments.
This Rocky Mountain Stud Colt of 1890 was the foundation stallion of the breed and the great grandsire of TOBE, a chocolate stallion owned by Sam Tuttle of Spout Springs, Kentucky. From the 1940s through the 1970s, TOBE was the primary breeding stallion used in this area, and he is credited with perpetuating the breed as we know it today.
Many times in the past, numbers of Rockies had declined to near extinction, but through the efforts of people like Sam Tuttle and Rea Swan, the breed is preserved and growing stronger in numbers today. Rea Swan of Lexington, Kentucky is credited with the founding of the Rocky Mountain Horse Association and Registry in 1986.
Rockies are still being bred today for qualities that the Rocky Mountain Stud Colt of 1890 was renowned for. Their versatility is historic and their popularity is growing.
Rocky Mountain Horse health and genetic issues
Anterior Segment Dysgenesis also known as ASD, is an abnormal formation of the front part of the eye. According to research it appears to be color-linked by the Silver Dapple Gene, which produces the Chocolates, Red Chocolates, Silver Buckskins etc.... The conditions vary widely, some horses have difficulty going from light to dark areas, in some cases their are no adverse affects at all. It is very rare that even a full blown case of ASD will produce blindness, this condition is not considered painful to the horse.
Rocky Mountain Horse fun facts
Rocky Mountain Horses, are still very rare with only about 15,000, registered in the RMHA Registry and even fewer that are certified to breed.
The calm temperament of this horse makes it ideally suited for working around cattle and for 4-H projects.
TOBE was used for breeding until July of his thirty-fourth year, and he passed on his gait, disposition, and other great qualities to his offspring. It has been said that TOBE's progeny followed in his "perfectly-timed" footsteps. TOBE fathered many fine horses before his death at the ripe old age of thirty-seven. One outstanding trait passed on to his get was longevity, as many of his offspring were still breeding into their late twenties and early thirties.
Because of its cold-blooded nature, it has tolerated the winters in Kentucky with a minimum of shelter.